Valentine’s Day 2022 sales improve amid pandemic


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Valentine's Day 2022 sales improve amid pandemic

Valentine’s Day 2022 sales improve amid pandemic

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With love in the air, gift-giving time has come as local businesses report an improvement in their sales compared to last year amid the current wave of omicron. However, not all businesses saw the same increase in sales, as some are still battling the pandemic.

“This year’s Valentine’s Day sales were much better than last year because our sales were so different, I think it was at least 30% more,” said Jesse Gonzalez, owner of Jesse’s Floral & Event Services. “Last year, because a lot of people still Fear of COVID, sales have really dropped. The best-selling item we’re seeing right now is the rose, which is without a doubt the most traditional way to give a gift.”

Gonzalez said the worst year due to the pandemic was 2021, as Valentine’s Day sales were spared in 2020 as the COVID-19 pandemic started to affect the local area until March of that year. However, as 2021 rolls in and the wave of the virus continues to affect the region, he did notice a significant drop in sales last year, similar to what he’s seen on other holidays when these types of gifts are given out, such as mothers day.

2022 appears to be a better year for Gonzalez’s business, as he sees more clients who have done business with them in the past return, and new clients continue with his business.

Another business that appears to be doing well is the serenade business as cases have increased in the city in recent weeks compared to last year.

Christopher Moore of Mariachi Los Trovadores de Laredo, who is performing a romantic serenade for Valentine’s Day, said their service requests had fallen due to an increase in cases last month and February. However, their request was much larger than the previous year.

“Despite COVID, we’ve had a fair run of summer and fall,” Moore said. “In January and February, it’s been slow because of winter and new pandemic protocols.”

He said there were far fewer requests for serenade service last year than in previous years, not only because of the pandemic, but also because of the large freeze affecting the area that caused power outages in various parts of the county. He contributed to better weather for this year’s success.

“Remember, last year was a record winter, but this year has gotten better as COVID is fading thanks to vaccines and precautions,” Moore said.

While some businesses may be better off this year compared to 2021, not all are. Daisy’s Boutique, a downtown business run by mother-daughter owners Betty Sandoval and Daisy Sandoval, said sales had been falling and they suspected the current coronavirus wave was to blame.

Betty Sandoval said their Valentine’s Day sales weren’t great. In fact, they haven’t been there for the past two years since the pandemic began, with the city center taking a huge hit due to border closures and a lack of people going out.

“Sales are lower this year on Valentine’s Day compared to 2020,” Sandoval said.

Sandoval did, however, say that social media is helping them reach new and potential customers more than ever, something they’ve done more since the pandemic began to make it easier for people to see the goods they are selling. Some sales have also been maintained along the way.

“As for the opportunity to sell Valentine’s Day gifts, I think it’s helpful to post our products on our social networks so we can make sales,” Sandoval said.

One thing all businesses have in common is that inflation affects them significantly and causes their prices to rise.

“In terms of product cost, we do have to raise prices because of inflation, and our cost per flower has gone up, so we have to raise prices a little bit for our customers as well,” Gonzalez said. “The price has gone up, say a rose was $3.50 and now it’s $4.50, so the price did go up.”

Despite the price increase, Gonzalez said no customers have complained about them because they understand the reason for the price increase. Sandoval also had to set a price, but said it had received no complaints.

“As for the price of our product this year, it’s a little bit higher due to higher prices and shipping costs,” Sandoval said. “Our customers don’t complain about our prices, we always try to keep prices proportional to our costs.”

Moore said his mariachi band hasn’t raised prices because of inflation.

As the pandemic continues to impact the local area, these businesses continue to implement safety standards to keep their employees and customers safe from any potential infection, and sell as discreet customers can now order online or make curbside pickup. Gonzalez said , he has even hired more delivery people in the past year due to an increase in his customer base.

“Curbside delivery is definitely up from last year. We even closed the store completely, all the sales we do are curbside, and people love that and others opt for delivery,” Gonzalez said. “I think curbside is a successful tool because a lot of people come here because in my business we have very easy access to the driveway and others we have a table with our products on it and they drive easily to buy in the area.”

Gonzalez said that every product they use is sterilized before being distributed to customers because they use Lysol to sterilize the flower base before handing it over to customers. Delivery staff also always sanitize products before delivery, he said.

Gonzalez said Valentine’s Day is an important traditional holiday that should be celebrated by all, and it would be great if the local community helped local businesses like him and others to help them emerge from the pandemic.

“It’s still important to celebrate Valentine’s Day in what’s going on, because it’s a day to show how much we love each other and to express emotions with little gifts like chocolates and roses, because it’s such a beautiful tradition, ‘ said Gonzalez. “I just hope people continue to support local businesses this Valentine’s Day because that’s the only way we can get out of this pandemic.”

Jesse’s Floral & Event Services is located at 6910 McPherson Rd. #1 at 956-725-3773, Daisy’s Boutique at 206 Juarez at 956-229-9122, Mariachi Los Trovadores de Laredo at Julio Cena at 956-441-5512.

jorge.vela@lmtonline.com

956-728-2538

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